Why do women gain weight after forty?

Why do women gain weight after forty?

It is a known fact that women tend to neglect themselves after the age of forty. My clients give umpteen reasons to cover up and in denial.

  • I dont mind looking mature.
  • I have grand kids and I look lovable.
  • All women gain weight.
  • I am aging.

But these reasons do not sum to anything.

Until menopause, women gain weight around thier hips and waist to sustain pregnancy and the female hormone oestogen infact helps to maintain weight and prevent belly fat. But after menopause, the female hormones decrease and hence the tendency of male type of obesity increases, hence weight gain in the middle increasing belly fat.

Stress too can be another cause as at this age, the stress levels too increase due to various reasons and this triggers the hormone cortisol that increases cravings for sweet and fatty foods..

Apple shaped obesity or central obesity is the main cause for metabolic disease which is the main cause for heart disease and diabetes.

Increased number of pregnancy to increase the fat deposits in the bellies.

How do you prevent weight gain after forty?

  • Exercise, exerice, exercise. This helps to combat weight gain.
  • Do not become a grazer. Quit mindless snacking.
  • If you have time on your hands ie if the kids have left the nest, join tai chi or yoga classes to relax and maintain flexibility.
  • Eat at regular timings.
  • Opt for low fat milk products, leaner meats,fresh fruits and vegetables and increase the intake of nuts and good carbs.
  • Do not eat the scraps left after everyone has finished as this can result in weight gain.
  • Eat as per your activity levels.
  • Think young. As they say “Life begins at forty”.

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows. She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore. Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

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